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Jul 2, 2024

There are more students registered for exams this year in Portugal. Portuguese is once again the most popular test

This is a year of transition between the rules in force since the pandemic and the new national exam regime. There are 156 thousand students enrolled, but, by comparison, fewer want to go to university.

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Jun 25, 2024

Portugal Exams and tests: flaws were detected in 45% of inspected schools

Exams and tests: flaws were detected in 45% of inspected schools In 25 of the 55 schools in which the General Inspectorate of Education and Science supervised the carrying out of national tests and exams, flaws were detected in these processes, which causes “concern.

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Jun 24, 2024

Portugal Year 9 exams will be paper-based this year

Ministry of Education, Science and Innovation accuses the previous Government of not having ensured the necessary conditions for schools to carry out final tests in digital format, as planned.

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Jun 21, 2024

Portugal schools in 'time trial' to be able to carry out national tests and exams

Schools will have a budget of 6.5 million euros for the purchase of new computers, revealed this Monday by 'Jornal de Notícias': the measure, approved by the Council of Ministers last Thursday, aims to replace the equipment damaged or in no condition and thus allow the carrying out of assessment tests (2nd, 5th and 8th years) and national tests for the 9th year, which will be in digital format this year.

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Jun 19, 2024

New Portugal Government will revoke assessment and digital exams

Assessment tests should be dropped this year, only the 9th year paper exams will remain in place.

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Mar 18, 2024

Secondary education exams and access to higher education in 2024

Every year, the future of thousands of young people begins to be shaped during a couple of weeks at the beginning of summer. The national secondary education exams, which this year begin on the 14th of June, are decisive in defining the conditions under which every young person can apply for higher education.

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Feb 29, 2024

Portgual Secondary exams will continue to be done on paper

Ministry of Education decided to maintain the tests that count towards the grade, in the traditional format, at the same time asking schools to test digital tests, before counting towards the grade. In the 9th year, exams will be taken on the computer.

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Feb 21, 2024

Portugal schools prepare mandatory digital exams in the 9th year with “obsolete” or “broken” computers, “slow” internet and no IT technicians

Although the results of the assessment tests in digital format, which took place in May 2023, have not yet been made public, schools are also preparing the 9th year exams in digital format.

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Feb 15, 2024

Portugal school directors want to know that year 11 exams will be taken in digital format

The president of the National Association of Directors of Groups and Public Schools wants the Government to reveal, soon, the 11th exams which, at the end of this academic year, will be carried out on a computer.

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Feb 9, 2024

Portugal National exams proceed “smoothly”

The national final exams in Descriptive Geometry A, Biology and Geology, in the 11th year of schooling, History A and Drawing A, in the 12th year of schooling, relating to the 2nd Phase of the National Examinations Calendar of Secondary Education of 2023, also took place.

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Jan 5, 2024

Court declares illegal minimum services imposed during the strike on final assessments

The Lisbon Court of Appeal, in a ruling approved on November 22nd, declared “illegal the minimum services imposed on strike for final summative assessments of years with final tests or exams (9th, 11th and 12th years ", has just revealed.

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Jan 4, 2024

Portugal students demand better internet and the end of national exams

Dozens of students from Escola Artística Soares dos Reis, in Porto, joined together in a protest organized by the "Voz aos Estudantes" movement. The concentration was marked by demands for the improvement of conditions at that educational institution.

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Dec 21, 2023

Portugal Minister of Education extends learning recovery plan

The Minister of Education, João Costa, extended the measures of the learning recovery plan after only 60% of schools had applied. Some deputies criticized the minister's decision during the parliamentary committee on Education and Science.

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Dec 6, 2023

Digital national secondary education exams advance this year in a pilot project

The president of IAVE guarantees that he will assume responsibility if something does not go well with the process of national tests in digital format.

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Oct 4, 2023

Portugal government wants more professional students in Higher Education

Less than a fifth of vocational education students who completed secondary education (18%) continued their studies in higher education. The proportion reaches 80% in the case of colleagues on scientific-humanistic courses. The Government wants more professional students to enter universities and polytechnics.

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Sep 28, 2023

New exam model for Portugal 11th grade students

Year 11 students who take national exams at the end of this academic year will follow the new model for completing secondary school and accessing higher education. The changes were published this Friday in Diário da República and come into force.

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Sep 22, 2023

Portugal government approves new rules for access to higher education

The Government approved a new model that requires the counting of two national exams for the average entry to higher education, and which will come into force from 2025.

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Sep 14, 2023

Portugal National exams: More than 75% of revision requests resulted in an increase in the grade

In the 1st phase of national exams, in more than three quarters of the tests that were the subject of a request to review the classification, grades increased. On the other hand, in 8% of requests the result was the opposite of what was expected, a reduction in classification.

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Sep 14, 2023

Portugal school year begins with thousands of students without a teacher and hundreds of retirements

Classes begin with around 80 thousand students without a teacher in one or more subjects. The southern part of the country is the most affected by a lack of teachers, but the problem spreads to all regions. Between September and October, another 726 teachers will retire.

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Sep 13, 2023

National exam season in Portugal, with strikes and minimum services decreed

The season for national secondary education exams begins with the 12th year Portuguese test, with teachers' unions calling strikes for students' final assessments, subject to minimum services by decision of the arbitration court.

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Républica Portuguesa (The Portuguese Republic) is the western-most country on the European continent. It is bordered by Spain to the east and the North Atlantic Ocean to the north, west and south. The islands of Azores and Madeira in the Atlantic Ocean are autonomous regions (regiões autonomas) of Portugal. The population is 10,676,910 and the literacy rate 93.3%. Portuguese is the official language and the language of instruction.

The area of present-day Portugal was first visited by the Celts, followed by the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, and the Romans, and the entire Iberian Peninsula was conquered by the Moors. During the period of the Spanish Reconquista (Reconquest) of the Iberian Peninsula from the Moors, Portugal was a county of Spain. By 1149, Portugal gained independence from Spain with Alfonso I as the first King.

In the 15th century, Portugal began to explore the world, and claimed the islands of Madeira and the Azores in the North Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa. In the 1440s, Portugal began to explore Africa and several colonies were established. In 1500, both the Spanish and Portuguese reached the east coast of South America. A later agreement gave the area of present-day Brazil to Portugal. In 1497, Vasco da Gama landed in India, and within several years, Portuguese missionaries and traders were established in India. In 1557, Portuguese traders established a colony on Macao.

In 1581, King Philip II of Spain claimed Portugal and the 2 crowns were merged, but a bloodless rebellion in 1640 restored the Portuguese crown. During the reign of Napoleon, Portugal was divided between France and Portugal. By 1908, the Portuguese royal family was exiled and the Portuguese Republic was established.

Portugal was a founding member of NATO and joined the European Union on June 1 1986.


Currently, the Ciência, Tecnologia e Ensino Superior is responsible for higher education in Portugal.

Primary Education

Education is free and compulsory from ages 6 to 15. Ensino básico (Primary school) is 9 years and is divided into 3 cycles. The first cycle is 4 years, the second cycle is 2 years, and the third cycle is 3 years. Upon completion, students are awarded a Diploma do Ensino Básico (Diploma of Basic Education).

Secondary Education

Ensino secundario (Secondary school) is 3 years and has 4 tracks: scientific-humanities, technological, specialized arts, and professional studies. Vocational and professional studies are offered at escolas secundárias profissionais (professional secondary schools). Upon completion, students are awarded a Diploma de Formação Profissional de Nivel III, Diploma de Estudies Profissionais, or a Certificado de Qualificação Profissional de Nivel III. Students in academic tracks are awarded a Diploma de Ensino Secundário upon completion. The Certificado de Fim de Estudos Secundárias was also awarded until the mid 2000s.

Post-Secondary Education

There are 2 types of post-secondary education: ensino universitário (university instruction) and ensino politécnico (polytechnic instruction). Admission requirements for post-secondary study are set by each individual institution. These institutions require a Diploma de Ensino Secundário and some require sufficient scores on an entrance exam, concurso nacional for public institutions and concurso local for private institutions. Admission to post-secondary study is coordinated by the Comissão Nacional de Acesso ao Ensino Superior (CNAES) (National Committee for Access to Higher Education). Students ages 23 and above who do not hold a Diploma de Ensino Secundário can sit for the Exame Extraordinário de Avaliação de Capacidade para Acesso ao Ensino Superior (extraordinary exam to assess the capacity to enter higher-level studies) and apply for post-secondary programs.

Ensino superior politécnico (Post-secondary technical education) is offered at 15 institutos politécnicos (polytechnic institutions), 3 nursing colleges, 2 colleges of higher education, and 3 polytechnic colleges of higher education.

Cursos de especialização tecnológica (CET) (Specialized technological courses) were created in 1979 and are offered at escolas superiores (higher schools) in polytechnics. After 2 years of study, students are awarded a Diploma de Especialização Tecnológica (DET) e Qualificação Profissional de Nível 4. First-level Licenciatura (licentiate) programs are 3-4 years (180-240 European Credit Transfer System). Second-level Mestrado (Master) programs are 3-4 semesters (90-120 European Credit Transfer System) and require a Licenciatura (licentiate) for admission. Prior to the 2006-07 academic year, polytechnics offered a 3-year Bacharelato and a 4 to 5-year Licenciatura (licentiate). Full implementation of the Bologna-compliant degree structure however, did not take place until 2009-10 so some Bacharelato (also called Bacharel) degrees may have been awarded in the period 2006-09 leading up to full implementation.

Ensino superior universitário (University study) is offered at 14 universities and 1 non-integrated university; 4 military and police science university institutions: Academia da Força Aérea (Air Force Academy), Academia Militar (Military Academy), Escola Naval (Naval College), and Instituto Superior de Ciências Policiais e Segurança Interna (Higher Institute of Police Sciences and Homeland Security). The Portuguese Catholic University is private, but is recognized by Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education.

First Cycle

First-level studies are 6-8 semesters (180-240 European Credit Transfer System) and lead to the Licenciatura (Licentiate). Prior to the 2006-07 academic year, the Licenciatura (Licentiate) was 4-5 years though, again, some may have been awarded up to full implementation in 2009-10 of the new degree structure. [strike: and universities also offered a 3-year Bacharelato]

Second Cycle

Second-level studies require a Licenciatura (Licentiate) for admission. They are 3-4 semesters (90-120 European Credit Transfer System) and, upon successful defense of a thesis, students are awarded a Mestrado (Master). Mestrado Integrado (Integrado Master) programs are usually in professional areas of study and are 10-12 semesters (300-360 European Credit Transfer System). They require a Diploma de Ensino Secundário (Diploma of Secondary Education) for admission.

Third Cycle

Doctoral programs require a Mestrado or a Mestrado Integrado for admission. Following coursework and defense of a dissertation, students are awarded a Doutoramento (Doctorate). A Doutoramento is only awarded by universities.

Teacher Training

Primary and secondary school teachers must hold a licenciatura. There is no specialized teaching credential.



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